How to get from Cat ba to Tam Coc Ninh Binh
November 29, 2015

Hello travelers, when you came to Cat Ba from Hanoi there is no reason to go back to Hanoi to continue to the south. There is a easy way how to get from Cat Ba to Tam Coc Ninh Binh. Then you can choose if you want to stay directly in Tam Coc or directly in the city Ninh Binh which is located 8 km from Tam Coc. We stayed in Ninh Binh because it is more flexible and bus to the south goes from Ninh Binh.

From Cat Ba you can choose from 2 options:

  1. Bus to port -> Speeboat to Hai Phong -> Taxi to bus station -> bus to Ninh Binh (255 000 VND / 12$ / 4h)
  2. Speedboat to Hai Phong -> taxi to bus station -> bus to Ninh Binh (365 000 VND / 16$ / 3h)

We chose the first option and based on our hotel manager recommendation we took local bus provided by Hadeco. We were only one tourist in this bus to Cai Vieng port and from there took speedboat to Ben Binh Hai Phong port. The bus and boat ticket to Hai Phong costs 130 000 VND / 6$.

from cat ba to hai phong

from cat ba to hai phong

From there we had to take a taxi to Ben Niem Nghia bus station.

bus from Hai Phong to Ninh Binh

After 40 minutes we landed and headed for taxi to bus station. Taxi costs around 40 000 VND / 2$. Don’t take a taxi directly in front of the port if you dont want to pay triple price. Just walk 50 m close to main road and there take an official taxi with taxa-meter. At the bus station we bought a ticket for 85 000 VND / 4$ leaving at 10:30 a.m. and waited for the bus which was late and in reality it was local minibus.

bus from Hai Phong to Ninh Binh

Seemed that not much tourist take this local bus. The journey took around 2 hours and the driver dropped us on the road. We protested that we paid for a ticket to Ninh Binh center but he didn’t care. His friend was waiting with car offered us ride to the center. We were angry and told him that we will not pay because we already pay for bus ticket to the Ninh Binh city center. Driver told him something (not sure what) and he drove us for free. After 5 minutes he dropped us in front of the hotel and young lady went to ask if we have an accommodation. That time I was able to turn on my GPS and what a surprise we were in Tam Coc center instead of Ninh Binh center. Another bad experience with bus transport and drivers in Vietnam. Everything was clear now, the driver make a business with this hotel. We had our hotel booked this time and got very angry started arguing with the lady. When she saw it she suddenly started to call to our hotel to arrange taxi. When we said that we will write bad recommendation we had taxi transfer from Tam Coc to Nimh Binh for free. Finally we arrived to our hotel where everyone was very kind understanding our trouble.

Welcome in Ninh Binh 🙂

To read what to do in Ninh Binh and Tam Coc click here

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  1. In fact travel in Southeast Asia probably gets the worst of it. The Strand Yangon is one of Southeast Asia’s grand colonial hotels and still one of its most awe inspiring. The Parliament building in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar has been opened to tourists as part of the hotel and tourism ministry’s plan to promote tourism to the country’s capital, where it points out an international airport and many of the new hotels in Myanmar are already in place.

  2. I’ve just go from Cat ba to Ninh binh by bus direct booking Goodmorng cat ba, buy 1 ticket included bus from Cat ba town + speedboat + bus to tam coc – ninh binh, highly recomment